Face covering requirement date brought forward

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

New date: face coverings will now be required to be worn by customers and staff from tomorrow (Thursday 24 September)
New date: face coverings will now be required to be worn by customers and staff from tomorrow (Thursday 24 September)

Related tags: Legislation, Government, Prime minister, Boris johnson

The requirement for pub staff and customers to wear face coverings inside has been moved to tomorrow (Thursday 24 September) despite the Cabinet Office previously confirming to The Morning Advertiser that it would be enforced from Monday (28 September).

The Government has stated people who are already exempt from the existing face covering obligations, such as because of an underlying health condition, will continue to be exempt from these new obligations.

Guidance stating that face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services will now become law (from Thursday 24 September).

The new rule comes into force at the same time pubs will have to close their doors each day at 10pm and use table service only.

Legal obligations

Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out the areas where the face covering rule has been extended to, as part of the Government's bid to prevent the spread of the virus.

In the House of Commons earlier this week (Tuesday 22 September), Johnson said: “We must act from the virus being transmitted in bars and restaurants.

"We will extend the requirement to wear face coverings to include staff in retail, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.

“In retail, leisure and tourism and other sectors, our Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach the rules.”

Long-term plan

Johnson also confirmed the Government’s planned 10pm curfew for all pubs, restaurants and bars from Thursday (24 September), alongside table service only at the same time.

“From Thursday all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate a table service only, except for takeaways," Johnson said.

“Together with all those venues, they must close at 10pm. To help police enforce this rule, it means closing, not just calling for last orders because simplicity is paramount.

“The same will apply to takeaways though deliveries can continue thereafter.”

Johnson also mentioned that unless we “palpably make progress, we should assume the restrictions I have announced, will remain in place, for perhaps, six months."

Related topics: Legislation

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